Indeed, there is poverty everywhere in the society. Even upper caste people are poor. Many other families are also facing livelihood crisis. There is a problem in providing good education to children. Upper caste people are doing palladari for livelihood.
The Supreme Court on Monday approved the 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections of the common people implemented by the central government. It has declared this reservation valid. The bench justice has also said that reservation cannot be granted for a long time. This decision of the Supreme Court will benefit the common people in education and government jobs. While the BJP’s NDA alliance has started capitalizing on it as a victory for its government, Congressmen have also come forward and hailed the decision. Congress has welcomed this decision of the Supreme Court. Congress Party General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said the Congress welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the 103rd Constitutional Amendment, which provides 10% reservation quota for SC/ST/OBC as well as Economically Weaker Persons (EWS).
Three of the five judges who heard the reservation did not consider the government’s decision to grant reservation to economically weaker sections a violation of the constitutional framework. It may be noted that before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the NDA government had given 10 percent reservation to the common people on economic grounds. For this the 103rd amendment was made in the constitution. As per law, the reserve limit should not exceed 50 percent. Currently, the reservation available for SC, ST and OBC categories across the country is limited to 50 percent. More than 40 petitions were filed in the Supreme Court against this decision of the central government.
The verdict was delivered by a five-member constitution bench comprising Chief Justice YU Lalit, Justice Bela Trivedi, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Justice Pardiwala and Justice Ravindra Bhat. Justice Pardiwala in his judgment also said that there is no end to reservation. It must not continue for eternity, or it will turn into selfishness. Reservation is to end social and economic inequality. This campaign started seven decades ago.
The then Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said during the hearing that the government had not breached the 50 per cent reservation requirement. He said that in 1992, the Supreme Court itself had ruled that no more than 50 per cent reservation should be given so that the remaining 50 per cent seats were left for the general category. This reservation is only for general category people who fall in 50 percent. It does not disturb the remaining 50 percent of the block.
Also Read: Reservation should be given on the basis of need and not on the basis of birth
This decision has come at a time when assembly elections are due in Gujarat and Himachal. BJP will start reaping the benefits of this decision. He should also do so, since he implemented this reservation. Although many parties have been talking about this, they have not been able to do so. Whoever did, the profit would also go to his share. However, among the Dalit and OBC leaders, most of the leaders, except RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, have been in favor of giving reservations to the poorer upper castes. Congress itself is also supporting it.
Indeed, there is poverty everywhere in the society. Even upper caste people are poor. Many other families are also facing livelihood crisis. There is a problem in providing good education to children. Upper caste people are doing palladari for livelihood. They are engaged in the cleaning work of Gram Panchayats. That is why it was a good attempt of the center to give reservation to the poor of the common class. Justice Pardiwala in his judgment also said that there is no end to reservation. It must not continue for eternity, or it will turn into selfishness. Perhaps no political party will say anything on his statement, nor will they work to abolish reservation, because all parties know that by abolishing it they will not be able to face the opposition of those coming for reservation.
While Supreme Court Justice Pardiwala is not in favor of continuing reservation forever, our Dalit politicians are trying to implement reservation in the private sector as well. The late Ram Vilas Paswan joined the coalition government at the Center and repeatedly raised these demands. Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was the Union Law Minister in the previous government, said in response to a question about reservation in the private sector that national consensus is required. He said that it is being considered in the legislatures of various states of the country. He said that once consensus was reached there would be no difficulty in implementing reservation. He was answering questions from MLAs at the centenary function of the Bihar Assembly.
The NDA alliance led by the ruling BJP at the center has met once on this, but it knows whether it will do harm or gain, it is not sure. The caste is the BJP’s largest voter, while the reserved voter is divided. Another thing is that it cannot be guaranteed that the class benefiting from reservation will vote for the party giving reservation. The then Prime Minister VP Singh implemented 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes. Even so, those who got reservation, their vote was late V.P. The lion did not go. His dream of becoming Prime Minister again by riding on the backs of other backward classes could not be fulfilled. This reservation of other backward classes was opposed by upper caste youth across the country. More than hundred youth committed suicide. Even after doing all this, VP Singh could not form the government next time.
To attract their voters, political parties are trying to give 75 percent reservation to local youth in private jobs in their respective states. It has happened in some places. These politicians know that it is not according to the constitution, but in political interest they are trying to mislead the people of their state. They know that going to court will stop this. But their job is not to implement it, only to take advantage. As the central government is inviting global industry groups to set up industries in the country. Seeing that industries are coming to the states, no government will dare to enforce reservation in the private sector. By doing this, industrialists will avoid setting up industries in India. Even when earlier attempts were made, big industrialists had given notice that they would shift our headquarters to another country. Will appoint from there.
Also Read: EWS Reservation: Govt’s Side, Arguments given in Opposition, Judges’ Opinion, Complete Timeline from Start of Dispute to Decision
This order of the Supreme Court will pave the way for the development of the common poor. Ways of education will open. You will get benefit in job. With this, the discussion will start again as to how long the reservation should be kept in force. Can it be fixed? Even after 70 years of its implementation, not all Dalits have been able to take advantage of it till date. It also has to be considered that everyone in the society for whom the reservation is implemented should benefit from it. Those who have benefited should be shown a way out of reservation. However, there is no reason to abolish caste-based reservation in any political party today.
(The writer is a senior journalist)